Glenn Greenwald on what the truth about Officer Sicknick's death says about the media

We learned yesterday that Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. The significance of that admission was not just for Sicknick’s immediate family, some of whom already seem to have known he didn’t die from an attack with a fire extinguisher. The real significance was the way in which this undercut the media’s confident framing of his death as a victim of the Jan. 6 riot. Yesterday, Glenn Greenwald took this occasion to point out how this lie got going and why the media desperately wanted it to be true:

So The New York Times on January 8 published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick’s skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died — and, just like the now-discredited Russian bounty story also unveiled by that same paper, cable outlets and other media platforms repeated this lie over and over in the most emotionally manipulative way possible.

…the gruesome story of Sicknick’s “murder” was too valuable to allow any questioning. It was weaponized over and over to depict the pro-Trump mob not as just violent but barbaric and murderous, because if Sicknick weren’t murdered by them, then nobody was (without Sicknick, the only ones killed were four pro-Trump supporters: two who died of a heart attack, one from an amphetamine overdose, and the other, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot point blank in the neck by Capitol Police despite being unarmed). So crucial was this fairy tale about Sicknick that it made its way into the official record of President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, and they had Joe Biden himself recite from the script, even as clear facts mounted proving it was untrue.

The partisan motivation for this to be true was so overwhelming that doubt about it was treated as a kind of heresy. The media’s progressive voices worked as the equivalent of Hockey goons to punish anyone who dared to say different.

Anyone who made firm judgments about the right based on a false narrative on the left, ought to think about that a bit. As Greenwald says, “They do it over and over.”

Matt Taibbi joined in:

On Substack, Greenwald makes an additional point about how the left used Sicknick but never cared about him.

They never cared in the slightest about Officer Brian Sicknick. They had just spent months glorifying a protest movement whose core view is that police officers are inherently racist and abusive. He had just become their toy, to be played with and exploited in order to depict the January 6 protest as a murderous orgy carried out by savages so primitive and inhuman that they were willing to fatally bash in the skull of a helpless person or spray them with deadly gases until they choked to death on their own lung fluids.

He’s right of course. If you support BLM then you necessarily support the routine verbal abuse of police officers as racists akin to the Klan. So it was very curious that a police officer would suddenly become the hero of this same group of progressives apart from the politics of doing so. In fact, you may recall people were simultaneously claiming Sicknick was a victim of the mob and that the same Capitol Hill police had treated BLM protesters unfairly. He was both a victim (where needed) and a perpetrator.

Finally, Greenwald points out the people who were the most aggressively wrong about this (and the bounties story) are the same people demanding a clampdown on disinformation via social media. This story, the truth of it, is one of the things they would have preferred no one talk about without the risk of being deplatformed.

Finally, here’s Greenwald on Tucker Carlson’s show last night.